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The marketing campaign battle throughout election is rather like a sport of chess, each side searching for alternatives and new methods to defeat the opposite. Though the hijab controversy erupted in Udupi, Karnataka, it has develop into a political scorching potato in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh. Whereas UP chief minister in an interview with India As we speak stated that no lady wears hijab by alternative, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi, whose social gathering is contesting 100 seats in UP, has stated {that a} hijab-clad lady will develop into the nation’s prime minister in the future.

Past political rhetoric, on this occasion, the difficulty of hijab is being debated in individuals’s drawing rooms and at roadside tea stalls and pan outlets. A topic like this could polarise individuals alongside non secular strains. A bit of non-Muslims see hijab as an pointless id assertion by a bit of Muslim group whereas the Muslim group sees it as yet one more incident which makes them really feel insecure.

The truth is, such incidences result in insecurity amongst each majority and minority communities, and these insecurities work as fodder for political polarisation throughout elections. However to what extent?

In Sheikhpura, a Muslim basti close to Allahabad, on the floor of it, no villager talks concerning the hijab concern, however you prod them, they usually open up. And, it’s principally the lads who communicate – they see it as an assault on their non secular rights and freedom. Muslim girls on this basti, who’re unlettered and principally engaged in binding bidis, don’t communicate a lot on this. Few school- and college-going women say, ‘Enable us to do as we want.’

In Phulpur, which was as soon as the constituency of former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, I spoke to some Hindus who stated everybody ought to put on the varsity or faculty uniform. They don’t agree with the assertion of Muslim leaders on this topic.

Right here, polarisation within the majority group can occur in favour of a celebration that doesn’t help minority appeasement – for most individuals, the BJP appears to be the one such social gathering in UP elections. So, it might profit the BJP to some extent.

Nevertheless, for the minority group, this could set off concern psychosis and will convey extra cohesive polarisation amongst a bit of this group in favour a celebration they discover sympathetic in direction of Muslim id and tradition. In such issue-based polarisation, the winnability issue of a celebration in opposition to the BJP can even appeal to voters. The Samajwadi Social gathering could have an edge over an AIMIM right here.

ALSO READ | UP Next: Only Religious Identity Will Not Determine a Muslim Voter’s Choice

Whereas the hijab concern can affect electoral politics throughout the state, in districts like Azamgarh and Mau, which have a big Muslim inhabitants and are going to polls within the seventh and ultimate part on March 7, the polarisation may be extra pronounced.

Nevertheless, simply the hijab concern can not work independently to show a group in opposition to or in favour of a celebration. The difficulty together with different key points/aspirations and calls for of a group can present the bottom for non secular identity-based electoral politics.

Within the month-long elections in UP, the marketing campaign points have modified in keeping with constituencies or areas going to polls. It’s true that controversies have restricted shelf life however even in a brief span, they will play a task in strengthening long-term non secular identity-based electoral politics in our nation.

Badri Narayan is Professor and Director at GB Pant Social Science Institute, Prayagraj, and creator of ‘Republic of Hindutva’. The views expressed on this article are these of the creator and don’t signify the stand of this publication.

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